A state lawmaker says safety is on the line for firefighters and EMTs who help people every day.

State Rep. Clay Doggett (R-Pulaski) wants them to carry guns to protect themselves.

Firefighters risk their lives every day. It comes with the job.

In some cases, they're also protecting themselves from the people they help.

"There's definitely times when you have a patient that could be a serious threat," Mark Young, President of the Nashville Fire Union said.

Young is also a Nashville firefighter.

Concerns about firefighters and EMTs being threatened and even attacked are why changes could be on the way.

"It's been an overwhelming concern with safety," State Rep. Doggett said.

Doggett said he's heard from first responders across the state about this problem.

His bill  would allow firefighters and EMTs to carry guns on the job.

They would also go through training each year. Doggett said the training would be based on what a department decides.

"It's an opportunity for a department head to say 'I want to provide this opportunity for our employees for an extra safety and security,'" Doggett said.

Firefighters like Young said the proposal needs to be looked at closely. He said the training part of the bill is important and necessary.

"Making sure if something like this is adopted that the proper training I think is key," Young said.

The bill  is in its early stages. Right now, it's unclear when it will be up for a vote.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Cameron Taylor is a national Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2018.

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